Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wizard World Thoughts

Hello, people of Earth.

May 19th, 20th, and 21st, Des Moines was once again lucky enough to have the Wizard World Comic Con! For you young people, Wizard was THE voice in comics in the 90’s and into the 21st century. They were there for the boom in the 90’s, and provided an inside look to your favorite artists, writers, and comic book companies. After Wizard stopped publishing their monthly magazine (and after years of grief counseling for me), they have still been putting on conventions all over the country.

This is the 3rd year in a row for our friends at Wizard, and while I was unable to attend the last two years due to work/other terrible reasons, Josh, Zac, Claire, and I from the Field of Geeks podcast were there to cover as much as we could. 

First of all, this is the largest con I have been able to take in. Back in “the day” (for me, that is the Paleolithic Era), I had been to a few smaller cons that were still quite entertaining and allowed me to meet some cool creators, including Jae Lee, Joe Staton, and Mike Grell (who can do no wrong). As it was held in the Events Center downtown, it had enough space to cover everything that was presented in an organized layout, making it easy for people to move from area to area.

Me before I had food.
Greeting us as we walked in was a huge statue of some muscular green dude with a real nasty disposition (pictured). There was a stage where multiple programs took place, from a fun 80’s cover band to some pretty hilarious fashion shows. Past that on the left side of the room were the celebrity guests and on the right, tons of awesome vendors featuring everything you would want at a convention like this. Des Moines’ own Mayhem Comics were on-hand, and it was great to see their familiar faces.

Is alcohol your thing? It was my thing on Friday, as Zac, Josh, and I enjoyed a double whiskey and coke as we arrived. It was called the Daredevil. The name was dead on, as after it, I couldn’t see and needed assistance being led around. Not true, of course, I just stumbled about, taking in the sights.

In the next room, the creators were all lined up in multiple rows, providing art and autographs for lots of fans (myself included). This room also had some sweet cars! The little known vehicle from that small independent movie franchise “Back to the Future” was there. I’ve seen many DeLorean’s in my day, but never one decked out like the movies. It was quite a sight. The Speed Racer car was there, as was my personal favorite, the Impala from the Supernatural series. My daughter got her picture taken with it, and I just drooled at the condition of the vehicle.

Are you into the celebrity/comic panels? If so, the panels never stopped. There were a bunch, ranging from comic talk, to celebrity/TV show panels…Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, etc. Victor Dandridge, a self-publishing guru, hosted approximately 732 panels (very slight exaggeration), and I was lucky enough to sit through 4 of them, which included James Marsters from Buffy and Danny Fingeroth, one of the Marvel legends!

Stan Lee was in attendance. ‘Nuff said (I totally stole that).

The event for kids were numerous and just added to the family friendly environment.

I will be adding a couple “5 Questions with…” segments to the blog over the next week. Mikey Babinski (Spider-Man) and Ant Lucia (DC Bombshells) were gracious enough to put up with my nonsense. Both of these gentlemen do phenomenal work, and it was honor chatting with them.

These cons are important for a city like Des Moines, who, until recently, was lucky to get the remaining cast members of Hee Haw, let alone stars like John Cusack, Dean Cain, and Marina Sirtis. If we are fortunate enough to see Wizard World return, you can bet I will be there covering it.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Jerry Milani of Wizard for the press pass and assisting with access to some of my favorite creators. You’re the man, Jerry!
 
Next up, 5 Questions with Mike Babinski. Check it out!


Monday, May 1, 2017

Wizard World Comic Con 2017


Greetings, people of Earth. Specifically, people of Des Moines and surrounding communities!

Remember Wizard magazine? I do. It’s one of three things I would bring back from the “old days”. The other two being my hair, and my ability to stay in excellent shape.

Wizard, though no longer publishing a magazine covering comics every month, is still hosting conventions, and May 19th, 20th, and 21st, we will be lucky enough to have another convention in Des Moines!


The guest list includes Charlie Sheen, Dean Cain, Marina Sirtis, Denise Crosby, James Marsters, and more. Star Trek: TNG fans take note! You can get photos, too! Check the site to see how! I’m still waiting for a sequel to Men at Work from Charlie Sheen. Fingers crossed.

The Con will be at the Iowa Events Center at 730 3rd Street Des Moines, Iowa. Make sure you check it out! Des Moines is not San Diego, so when we get something fun like this, it’s important to support.

A few of us from Field of Geeks will be there covering all the fun! 

See you there!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Steve's "Mailbag"


When we last talked, I was taken away to Bangladesh to do things I am not allowed to talk about. No, not mind-in-the-gutter things.  Things like transferring the cold fusion formula to the highest bidder. But, again, I am not allowed to talk about that.

Let's get right into the mailbag.

This week, a fictional reader writes, "Steve, how do you read your comics? Online? Print? What's the deal, yo?"

Great question, person who does not exist! I have mixed it up in recent years. With the advent of Comixology, I have not only saved space in my home, but have undoubtedly saved my marriage in the process. There are times where I will still pick up things in print, but usually it is something like a trade paperback, or a "one-off" comic for a series I might like to try.

With Comixology, I was using an iPad mini, and that was great! If I was travelling for work, I could read comics in an airport, or in the cab on the way to a meeting. This helped because if you have had the joy of being in a cab, they take delight in telling doughy Midwesterners that they could die in a moment's notice. They do all this without actually saying a word. I'm looking at you, San Francisco cab drivers.

Anyways, I recently upgraded to a normal iPad like the rest of the world had done years before me, and reading comics on that is AWESOME. I highly recommend it to you, your friends, and whoever else.

There is an online comic service through Plume Snake Comics, at plumesnake.com that has a slick online interface, and a bunch of great titles to choose from for a low monthly fee. It's like Netflix meets comic books. I use my iPad, laptop, and even cooler, my TV through my browser on Xbox.

If you are a serious collector for print, then congrats to you. Space in my home eludes me, so I envy those that are able to collect physical copies.

If you will excuse me, I need to go read a bunch of people talk about how movies that have not been released yet will "suck". It's good therapy, in that it reminds me how not to act. Ever.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Life Isn't Always Comics and Rainbows

I have had countless requests (zero) to put up a blog with some site recommendations.  So for the throngs of people patiently waiting, here we go...

  • Field of Geeks Star Trek 50th Anniversary podcast!  Join Josh and I as we discuss Star Trek. It was fun, and there's more on the way.  Listen directly at http://fieldofgeeks.podbean.com/e/field-of-geeks-trek-it-to-me/
  • Who knows movies?  Jonesknowsmovies.com is a movie review site that gives a breath of fresh air to the medium.  If you are like me (if you are, I apologize to your friends, family, and co-workers), it gets old hearing the hype machine in regards to movies.  This holds especially true for DC movies.  You can find a million places on the internet that are already telling you how bad Justice League will be, even though not one person has seen it.  There is a good variety of films reviewed in great detail.  Check it out at the link above, or on Twitter and Instagram.
  • If you are not watching Dark Matter (syfy network), then I can't launch enough shame your way.  Well, I don't have much shame to launch, but it's a great show.  Season 3 is still upcoming, but seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix.  I've had a blast watching this show, and was very skeptical going in.  I mean, "syfy"?  I can't take a network seriously who gets cutesy with their name.  That said, this show is absolutely worth your time.  Check out the official site here! 
 There you have it.  I'm going to wrap this up because I have this thing to do and I will not be blogging more today because of it.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Field of Geeks, Blanky Bot #1, Social Justice

Earthlings!

Welp, I have my laptop up and running, so that's good.  That means more inane ramblings from me!

I have mentioned Plume Snake comics before.  We mention them every show over at Field of Geeks.  What's that, you ask?  A podcast.  It's a totally brand new medium, and pretty much no one on earth has a podcast.  I think we are the first!  Anyways, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Podbean, YouTube, Sticher Radio, iTunes, and of course, fieldofgeeks.com for all sorts of stuff!

Since I was laptopless (making up words is fun), I couldn't get onto Plume Snake on my gankety (See? It's fun!) iPad.  It's old.  But it plays Solitaire pretty good.  Anyways, I have a lot of titles over there to catch up on.  The first one I read was Blanky Bot #1.  The 0 (zero/my retirement portfolio) issue was discussed here.

Blanky Bot #1 takes us five years into the past where we see a nice, quiet mountain-side town, and a toy shop where everything remains the same.  Like my crushing debt.

Anyways, change is afoot as we get a glimpse into the origin of Blanky Bot.

The good: The art is just fantastic.  I have a varied taste in art...19th century impressionism, Gothic art, abstract...of course comic art.  The art has a full time job in the Blanky Bot series.  It has no dialogue, except the dialogue you use to create the story shown to you.  This works very well in the format we are provided, and after taking in a comic where I've watched villains being punched in the face, this is an excellent way to look at something that is calm, entertaining, and just fun.

The bad: really, I have one complaint.  Too short.  Yes, I am selfish.  I know that, and now you do, too.  Alex Odom has brought something original to the table, and in a society that is keen on binge-behaviors (I'm looking at you, Netflix!  You, too Five Guys...wait, I should probably just look at myself there), I just can't wait for issue #2.

Social justice.  It's completely unavoidable these days if you watch/read/partake in any form of current media.  Most of the time, I see very valid reasoning and good intentions behind it, but seriously, enough.  Comics are a medium where the fan-base is very, very fickle.  I know that because I am very, very fickle.  My friends that read comics are the same way.  When you take the escapism and throw in a "The Joker is hurting Batgirl so all males hate women", then it's time to stop.

Marvel Comics looks like they will do just that.

It's no secret that Marvel hasn't felt Marvel-y (I'm on fire) in a while now, and they are looking to get back to the roots a little bit.  Good.  Personally, if I want to be told how to live my life, I will turn on the news, or read people's political ranting on Facebook (don't get me started).  Our society becomes more and more divisive all the time, and some of us are tired of it, and just want to be entertained.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go protest the fact that there is no In-N-Out Burger in Iowa.  My congressman is going to get it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Death in 2016

The "in" thing was to blame 2016 for the deaths of some of our favorite celebrities.  I've read a variety of articles and thoughts as the year passed, and one thing I actually found amusing were the people who felt it necessary to educate people on the fact that a "year" was not responsible for taking the lives of celebrities.

SERIOUSLY??  I'm trying to convey extreme levels of sarcasm.  Maybe I should mix in some exclamation points.

SERIOUSLY?!?!?!!!

Hmm.  Looks good.

If you truly believe that the calendar year of 2016 was responsible, then please email me.  I have a need to have money moved from a Nigerian bank, and you are the one I've chosen!

There were a lot of big losses last year...Bowie, Prince, Fisher, Reynolds...the list goes on and on.  Instead of writing any sort of tribute posts (I had a long on one Carrie Fisher), I will instead get a little preachy.  Lame, I'm sure, but it won't last long, I promise.

None of us escape death.  Celebrities, CEO's, or average Joe's...we all meet an end.  What will YOU leave behind?  We live in an era where we have tons of data at our fingertips, with our heads down and our faces lit.  Some people have written nice tributes, others are critical.  Some of it legitimate, some of it vitriolic.

When time catches up to us, what will people say about you?  Us non-celebrities aren't worried about the masses.  What about those close to you?  Leave a positive mark.  It's important.

Be kind to each other!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Superman

Before I get started, we just put out the 50th episode of our Field of Geeks podcast!  Check us out on Podbean, iTunes, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!

In the last post, I droned on about Supergirl, now it is time to tackle her cousin.  You may have heard of him.  Spoiler alert: he is in the title of this blog!!

I KNOW, RIGHT?

As a soon-to-be octogenarian, I can't be on board with phrases like "I know, right" or "fleek" or "lit" or any other crazy nonsense.  Those words are cray.

So, back to Superman, then.  In Monday's season 2 premiere of Supergirl, her cousin Superman comes to town and they team up to take down baddies, help families, and create all sorts of hope in National City.  Tyler Hoechlin now gets to wear the red and blue tights famously donned by Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, Henry Cavill, and a couple others really not worth mentioning.

Before I tell all of you what you should think about Mr. Hoechlin's performance (kidding, of course, but I AM always right), let's talk about Superman for a minute.   There is a lot of talk about how Superman is not relevant today.  He's too hard to write because he is so powerful.  Gobbledygook, I say!  Is gobbledygook still being used by the kids today?  I will have to hang around outside a school and ask. 

Superman is, in my opinion, needed now more than ever.  And not a dark, brooding, unstable Superman.  I'm talking your Reeve/Cain/Routh type that delivers hope, optimism, and the like.  (Approaching soapbox..)

What the El???
With everything that is going on in the world, we become almost desensitized to violence of all sorts, we allow our elected leaders to lie on a daily basis while we fall in line (and even defend the behavior) just because we choose one ideology over another.  As a comic fan with WAY too many comics, I love all sorts of comics and the heroes contained therein.  Superman, Batman, The Punisher, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spawn, The Flash...the list goes on and on.

I like the escapism of a Punisher.  He takes zero crap and gives zero $#!+$ about criminals.  I like Batman's code, and how he tries to convert his pain into justice, I like Superman because he is the example.  He is supposed to be the best of the best, and in today's world, we don't have a lot of examples to look up to with the endless skepticism and distrust.

Hoechlin's Superman delivered on the hope and optimism.  Supergirl has already done it for a full season.  I like the dark heroes, but there is plenty of room, and a need, for the light ones, too.  Welcome back, Superman.